Autumn has arrived – and that means its time to enjoy apples, pumpkins and the beauty of turning leaves – along with worrying of course how to keep stink bugs out of the house!
It didn’t take long for our house to be overrun last weekend. On Saturday, you would have been hard-pressed to find a single stink bug anywhere. But by Sunday, we were witnessing a full-blown invasion.
By late afternoon, the screens on the west-facing side of our house were crawling with stink bugs. Both the front and back doors were covered too.
The stink bugs had arrived – and they were looking for a way inside!
When the cooler temperatures of fall settle in, the stink bugs come out by the thousands. Or better put, by the hundreds of thousands.
And all of them are looking for the same two things. Mates, and a warm place to ride out the frigid temperatures of winter.
The most convenient place for them to find that of course is in the friendly confines of your home.
Top Tips To Keep Stink Bugs Out
Unfortunately, stink bugs have very few natural enemies or predators. They are also very hard to control with either man-made or natural insecticides and repellents.
So when it comes to keeping them from co-inhabiting with you, it all comes down to prevention.
Stink bugs can enter a home through the tiniest of holes. And once they do, they are amazingly adept at finding small nooks, cracks and crevices to hang out all winter long.
The key is to eliminate their entry points. It is also vital to keep hiding spots indoors to a minimum. After all, if they can’t hide – at least you can evict them easily.
Here are some top tips for success for sealing off and protecting your home against a stink bug invasion:
Check Those Screens!
Start by checking all of the window screens in your home. Repairing and or replacing faulty screens is your best first line of defense.
Look for holes or slits, and make sure the rubber gaskets holding them in place are secure. These are easy entry points for stink bugs, and for all insects for that matter.
In addition, make sure screens close properly and tightly in their tracks. Over time screens can bend and twist, creating wide open gaps that stink bugs can easily crawl through. If you are not in the mood to spend big money on repairs, you can patch screen holes with screen repair tape. It is an inexpensive way to fix unsightly holes. Product Link : Screen Repair Tape
Caulk Windows And Doors
Next up is making sure door and window trim is caulked and sealed. Not only is this a good defense against stink bugs, it is a great way to help winterize your home!
Cracks and crevices in trim are an easy way for stink bugs to enter the home. Sealing these off with a fresh layer of caulk will go a long way in keeping them out. It also can save big on your wintertime heating bills. Product Link : Big Stretch High Performance Caulk
Door Seals and Jams
Another easy entry point for stink bugs are at the bottom and sides of doors. Stink bugs love to crawl in through the edges and bottoms. If your doors already have seals, check to make sure they are intact and sealing off the exterior properly.
If none are present, this is a great time to install them! Much like with caulking the trim, you not only eliminate an opening for stink bugs, it helps keep the cold winter air out too. Product Link : Door Sealing Strips
Watch What You Bring Indoors
Finally, be careful of what you bring indoors.
Stink bugs love to hitch a ride in on blankets, firewood, clothes and more. Many of us head outdoors to enjoy autumn’s beauty with a bag full of blankets, sweatshirts and sweaters, and stink bugs have an uncanny ability to crawl in and cuddle up too.
Make it a practice to shake clothes and blankets out before taking inside. You will be amazed at how many stink bugs might be hiding, just waiting for the chance to come join you inside! For more on preparing for winter, see our article : Preparing The Outdoors For Winter
Here is to keeping stink bugs out of your home this fall and winter! Jim and Mary.
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